Homo Narrativus and the Trouble with Fame - Deepstash

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Homo Narrativus and the Trouble with Fame

http://nautil.us/issue/5/fame/homo-narrativus-and-the-trouble-with-fame

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Homo Narrativus and the Trouble with Fame
Our understanding of fame is critical to how we see each other and our society. But it is also badly wrong. Let me tell you why. We…

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Homo Narrativus

Homo Narrativus

We, humans, seek stories.

We are essentially ‘story finders’ looking for meaning, narrative and shape in everything around us. We tend to not believe in improbable...

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Bias Towards The Individual

Stories built around individuals provide relatability and a sense of being in the shoes of the people involved, living in the narrative.

Our tendency to give a ‘face’ and a st...

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How Fame Alters Our Perceptions

  • The popularity or fame of an individual or a piece of art (like a painting, song or a movie) alters how we perceive it.
  • The characteristics and behaviour of the people among whom f...

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Survivorship Bias

It is the tendency to focus on successful narratives of influential leaders, who offer promising insights backed with credibility.

These people become ‘Opinion Leaders’ du...

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Describing wonder

Wonder is said to be a childish emotion. However, as adults, we experience it when gaping at something unexpectedly spectacular.

Adam Smith, an 18th-century moral philosopher, describes wonder as something new and singular that is presented, and memory cannot find any image that nearly resembles this unique appearance.

Bodily symptoms

The bodily symptoms of this strange appearance point to three dimensions:

  • Sensory: The marvelous things take hold of our senses - we stare and widen our eyes.
  • Cognitive: We are perplexed because we don't have a past experience to understand them. It leads to a suspension of breath, similar to when we are startled.
  • Spiritual: We look upwards in veneration, which makes our heart swell.

The scale of wonder

At the mild end of this emotion, we talk about things being marvelous. More intense emotions might be described as astonishing. The extreme of this experiences is met with expressions of awe.

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Network Effects

Network effects are the unseen forces that are guiding our destiny and exerting a powerful intervention on our lives, creating energy that escorts us down a path that is not always fully our intention.

90 percent of these network forces are established in 7 major life events or crossroads, which compound over time: Our Family, High School Network, College Network, First Job, Marriage, Our City, Reassessments.

    Zipf's Law

    Zipf's law is a mathematical probability that states that in a given set, the most frequently used data value (or word) is used twice as often as the next most common value. This is true in various statistical sets like income distribution in companies, internet traffic, phone calls received, and language.

    One of the implications of this law is there are unconscious network forces and mathematical patterns governing our lives, with human beings just being nodes exchanging information.

    Dinner Party Mathematics

    When six to eight people are conversing at a dinner party, it is easy to focus on one conversation, but if the number is higher (say 15), then two-way conversations are more likely.

    When groups get larger, the change is exponential, not linear, affecting one's social experience.

    Social networks have a strong effect on our ideas

    You may think it was your idea to keep your desk neat or speak up in a meeting, but your behavior was likely influenced by those in your network.

    Once we understand social networks, we can use its power to shape workplaces for the better. You can turn an unhappy team into an innovative, collaborative one.

    A network is more than just a group of individuals

    In addition, a network has ties between people.

    The connections between individuals are what changes a group to a network.

    We naturally copy others

    Your experiences in the world is not only a product of your own desires, actions, and thoughts, but also a product of the desires, actions, and thoughts of people around you.

    The things that are seemingly personal to you are actually very strongly influenced by similar traits in other people. You do have agency. You can choose what to do. But you're also affected by what others are doing. Both are true.